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Old 10-14-2011, 05:20 AM
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Extreme Metal: The Cult and the Underground

When looking back at my old school death metal list I felt dissatisfied with it. I included way too many releases and hardly any details regarding them, making it overwhelming to anybody unfamiliar with the genre. I wouldn't be surprised if many people didn't know where to start when looking at it. I didn't want to redo the death metal list, so I decided I had to come up with something new. I figured that there might be some people looking to get into the underground and cult bands, so I got to work. After compiling a number of bands I picked out forty based on how much I enjoyed their material and what I felt people would enjoy. Needless to say there are plenty of bands that didn't make the cut and I actually ended up omitting a few of my favorite albums to favor some lesser known ones that deserve attention. I tried to give a brief overview of each release so you don't have to blindly check out bands like in my last thread. I also want to make it clear that this list is meant to guide you, not tell you what bands I think are the best.

So, here you go, forty extreme metal releases that are worth checking out. If any of the links are broken please let me know and I will fix them!


Abhorrence – Abhorrence
Genre: Death
Year: 1990



It was not until about ’89 that death metal had really begun to catch on in Northern Europe. Among the early bands that had taken shape in Sweden and Finland was Abhorrence. Although the band was only active for about a year they had become incredibly popular in the local scene by only releasing one demo and a self-titled EP. Relapse Records wanted to sign the band, but unfortunately they had already called it quits by the time they received the news. Despite the short life of the band, Abhorrence remains popular today with underground death metal enthusiasts around the world. This gritty EP with its crunchy guitar tone and guttural vocals was a defining moment for the Finnish death metal scene and helped set the foundation for future bands in the surrounding areas.

“Holy Laws of Pain” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40JLM0VVNWI



Archgoat – Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration)
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 1993



While the black metal movement was in full swing in Norway, Archgoat was busy in Finland pouring out some of the most sadistic releases of their time. The band played a mixture of death and black metal, making them a bit more unique than their Norwegian counterparts. The vocals are prominent in the mix, sounding overwhelmingly demonic and completely incomprehensible. They utilize a guitar tone more closely resembling that of death metal bands, making their sound a little heavier than other bands that would attempt this style. It was not long after the release of this EP that the band broke up, not reforming until a little over a decade later.

“Rise of the Black Moon” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNHtq_Fw0IU



Aura Noir – Black Thrash Attack
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 1996



Although Aura Noir has released four stellar albums throughout their career they remain a lesser known black metal band. Black Thrash Attack was their debut and as the title suggests, it is indeed a heavily thrash influenced black metal album. Out of the better known bands in Norway, Aura Noir was the only one to take this approach. The vocals are in the typical black metal style, however, the guitars focus almost entirely on catchy thrash riffs. Alongside the killer riffs, the drumming is another integral part of the album. Blast beats are mixed in with interesting patterns and fills that you might expect to hear on a thrash album. A rather interesting fact about this album is that the members take on multiple roles, with Apollyon and Aggressor alternating between instruments and vocal duties. They do this so well that you likely wouldn’t notice unless you were listening closely for differences. Aura Noir does a perfect job of combining thrash influences with their black metal roots, making a stellar final product.

“The Pest” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULA8lQ3jwes



Beastcraft – Into the Burning Pit of Hell
Genre: Black
Year: 2005



The “third wave” of black metal is a very loosely defined term, usually regarding the bands that formed after the turn of the century. It seems that this term includes both modern bands as well as those focusing on the sound of the genre’s prime era. By the time Norwegian scene had died down, many bands began to change direction or become modernized. In this time period Beastcraft was formed and they have brought back that raw ‘90s sound. If you hadn’t looked at the release date, you would surely mistake this for a second wave album. The lo-fi production and demonic aura are present, as well as the hypnotic song structures with dissonant guitars and blasting drums. All the pieces are in place for a classic black metal album and Beastcraft delivered just that.

“Energumen” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpOr2_H34mk



Beherit – Drawing Down the Moon
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 1993



In the same year that Archgoat released their first EP another Finnish band, Beherit, released their debut album. They play a style similar to Archgoat, utilizing a good mixture of death and black metal, however, their song structure is much more repetitive. The album showcases the genre in its most stripped down and primitive form, focusing on recurrent riffs and droning growls. There are also some chilling whispering vocals scattered throughout the album, which put emphasis on the cold, desolate atmosphere they have created. The songs are generally set at a plodding mid-pace, but there are a couple of slow doom influenced songs thrown into the mix. There is no doubt that this album is an acquired taste, but it is a masterpiece of its kind.

“Nocturnal Evil” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8O7oR1KVM4



Bestial Mockery – Christcrushing Hammerchainsaw
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 2002



Despite releasing their first demo in 1996, Bestial Mockery did not have the opportunity to release a full length until 2002. This debut infuses an abundance of thrash riffs and spontaneous solos with a classic black metal sound, making it more refreshing than the usual black metal that had been well played out by this time. That being said, it does utilize the typical guitar tone and vocals popularized by the Norwegian scene. Although the album only lasts for twenty five minutes, it will grip your throat and batter you until you are lifeless. It’s an unrelenting assault on the senses. Bestial Mockery would go on to release three more remarkable full lengths, surely leaving their mark in the scene before they broke up in 2009.

“Suicide Blasphemy” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVnwii2NbAA



Black Witchery – Upheaval of Satanic Might
Genre: Black
Year: 2005



After a demonic intro, this album starts an endlessly hellish storm of pure black metal. Although it was released in 2005, the production sounds more like the ‘90s, perfecting the atmosphere. The songs on this album are generally short, with most of them around two and a half minutes, which works well considering how relentlessly fast they are. There is an ample amount of well crafted riffs throughout the album, so each song retains its own identity instead of the whole album flowing together as one piece. With speed that will make your head spin and bone crushing guitars, this album will satisfy any black metal fan, old or new.

“Scorned and Crucified” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyLOQg6F9So



Blasphemophagher – Nuclear Empire of Apocalypse
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 2008



Blasphemophagher is another newer addition to the infernal underground scene, having formed not long after the turn of the century. Like Black Witchery, they have done nothing but prove themselves over the years. Their debut album arrived to the world in 2008 and it is a slab of malicious black death to stay the least. The album is quite varied for its style, with blazing fast sections that will rip your limbs apart and then slower sections with riffs that will have you reminiscing Slayer’s early work. The blasting insanity melds together well with the thrashing outbreaks and makes this release much more unique than others in the genre.

“Devastating Radioactive Torments” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id8hYcQ1tY4



Blasphemy – Fallen Angel of Doom
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 1990



Blasphemy is Canada’s finest when it comes to black metal. They have been the founders of a small group of bands that call their music war metal; the focus is a combination of black and death metal with lyrics revolving around war related topics. Being the fathers of this movement, Blasphemy has showcased the style in its purest form. With bestial vocals, blasting drums, and mindless riffing, this album will drag you to the gates of Hell and impale you on the stakes. The music is a whirlwind of fire, pulling you closer toward it, and it will leave your body smoldering on ground, left for scavengers to pick apart. There is no mercy here. The entire album is relentless and there is no stopping this unholy force. Not many albums can compare to this utterly vile sound. If you want to feel the presence of Satan and visualize his wrath upon the helpless souls of our mortal world, this is what you need.

“Weltering in Blood” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-jiIumIQls



Bloodstone – Hour of the Gate
Genre: Death / Black
Year: 1996



By the mid ‘90s Sweden’s death metal scene had largely ran dry, with most of the bands either breaking up or changing their style substantially. However, a few bands remained, one of them being Bloodstone. They had previously released two demos, in 1994 and 1995 respectively, which were later compiled into this full length. The musicianship on this album is astounding, especially when you consider that these songs were only demo material. There is a never ending plethora of remarkable riffs and excellent drumming. They are accompanied by high pitched growls, which are more closely related to black metal screams than the contemporary death metal style. This is arguably the most unique death metal album to come out of the country and it’s unfortunate that so much potential was lost when the band broke up in the same year of its release.

“Angel of Fornication” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Eo8M_XBbxM
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Last edited by treghet; 10-14-2011 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:21 AM
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Carnage – Dark Recollections
Genre: Death
Year: 1990



Before Michael Amott had founded Arch Enemy or joined Carcass, he formed a death metal band in his home country, Sweden. Alongside Entombed, Carnage was one of the pioneers of the classic Swedish sound, which originated from Sunlight Studios. There are plenty of sludge covered riffs, and a few with an eerie melodic tinge, exemplifying the sound the Swedish scene would become known for. In the short time the band was active they had a number of lineup changes, with Michael being the only consistent member. It is noteworthy that three of the bandmates that recorded the debut were from Dismember, who was broken up at the time. Consequently four of the songs on the album are actually songs from the early Dismember demos. After the release of the album Carnage disbanded, but it was not a total loss, as Dismember then reformed and Michael would go on to join Carcass in the UK.

“Torn Apart” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBH3Rlk8m50



Crematory – The Exordium
Genre: Death
Year: 1990



In the oversaturated Swedish death metal scene many bands would struggle to become a prominent figure amongst their peers. Crematory only released a handful of demos and an EP before splitting up, but they were clearly a top tier band. This demo is one of the most evil sounding Swedish releases out there, and it is by far my favorite from the scene. The production is perfect and the music could not be any more incredible. The haunting riffs and deep growls make such an eerie, mysterious atmosphere. This demo is uncompromising in every sense imaginable and there is not a moment of it that I would want different. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, sometimes more abruptly than others. Crematory broke up after releasing their EP, Denial. All of their work is fantastic, but the aura surrounding this demo is something that could not be replicated. This small piece of history has impressed me beyond belief and it’s a shame that this band’s career ended so early.

“The Exordium” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V5Ab893ILQ



Damnation – Destructo Evangelia
Genre: Black
Year: 2004



Destructo Evangelia takes us back to a time before black metal had a cemented foundation and specific sound. Although it was released in 2004, it is much like the recordings of the late ‘80s black metal scene, specifically being reminiscent of the early Bathory releases. The highlight of the album is the riffs, which are crafted remarkably well. They utilize a mixture of the second wave style of tremolo picking and some thrashing rhythms, reminiscent of the early scene. There are also some eerie melodic overtones and slow, plodding sections that trudge onward into darkness. The piercing vocals overlay the instruments nicely, giving it an ominous feel. This is a must have album for fans of Bathory’s black metal era, as it is a phenomenal tribute to Quorthon’s legacy.

“When Creation Dies” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8irxD89Y6zs



Demigod – Slumber of Sullen Eyes
Genre: Death
Year: 1992



Demigod’s debut album is a pinnacle of Finnish death metal, presenting some of the region’s most powerful material. Although it may be a lesser known release in comparison to the early works of neighboring legends Entombed and Dismember, it is certainly equal in quality. Demigod works at a typical mid-paced rhythm, but they are masters of song structure, making every moment compelling and unique. Each of the remarkable riffs leads into the next one smoothly, bridging the gaps flawlessly and keeping the songs gliding onward. Some riffs are uncompromisingly heavy, backed by thunderous double bass, while others have an eerie melodic edge, as in “Tears of God”. The solos aren’t overly complex and are only added where suitable, fitting into the songs exceptionally well. Slumber of Sullen Eyes is an excellent representation of talent and restraint working in harmony, and it has now become an immensely sought after release for fans.

“The Forlorn” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVG6_TkpnJ4



Depravity – Silence of Centuries
Genre: Death
Year: 1993



Depravity was another Finnish death metal band that released some stellar material, although they never made a full length. This was their second EP and last release before breaking up. Depravity played a much more doom oriented style of death metal, focusing on slower songs, unlike the other bands from their country. The solos are phenomenal and placed perfectly while not overstaying their welcome. It’s also important to note that there is not much emphasis on heavy riffs, but instead more atmospheric ones that build upon an extremely haunting feel. Although these riffs often reoccur in the songs, they remain endlessly compelling. These simplistic songs produce an overwhelmingly uncanny aura, much different from any other European death metal release. This brief yet engaging EP will get your senses on edge yearning for more.

“Sleepy Ocean” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NkrYkrpr20



Desaster – Tyrants of the Netherworld
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 2000



While Germany produced a legacy of thrash metal, Desaster set out to integrate some of the genre’s elements into their own music. In fact, the name Desaster may sound familiar, as it was taken from Destruction’s song “Total Desaster”. Their style combines the ferocity of Norwegian black metal with the cutting riffs of German thrash, creating a highly unique and vicious sound, unmatched by any other band. The vocals even bear resemblance to Schmier of Destruction, imitating his delivery and trademark shrieks. It should be said that the riffs on this record are extraordinary, delivering momentous rhythms and powerful melodies. Each song is distinctive and relentless, ensuring you will never find a dull moment. With this album Desaster has forged a slab of pure teutonic steel, drawing aspects from two different styles of metal and combining them with ease.

“Profanation” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CPjiY-PsSY



Fimbulwinter – Servants of Sorcery
Genre: Black
Year: 1994



Before the existence of Dimmu Borgir, Shagrath played guitar and drums in Fimbulwinter, a second wave black metal band that would release one album before breaking up. With that being said, I assure you that Fimbulwinter is nothing like Dimmu Borgir; there are no symphonic elements to be found here, only the cold, demonic sounds the second wave was notorious for. The production is rough and uncompromising, with the screeching vocals and mesmerizing guitars being at the forefront of the mix. In essence, this is what we’ve come to know as “true Norwegian black metal”. The tortured screams and dissonant guitars echo in the misty fjords, piercing the frosty air and taking the listener on a journey through the unforgiving Norwegian countryside.

“Servants of Sorcery” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUnS6kI8o98



Goatlord – Reflections of the Solstice
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 1991



Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anybody who played a style quite like Goatlord. With doomy death metal riffs in the vein of Autopsy accompanied by classic black metal vocals, there’s no one else quite like them. The songs do pick up speed from time to time, but typically meander through eerie and heavy riffs that progress as the song continues. The songs tend to be on the longer side, fittingly so, as they need room to fully develop. There are also some interesting solos thrown in when necessary, which are a nice touch. The drums have an ominous sound to them and they may be a bit off-putting to some, however, the rest of the material makes up for this. If you crave something wicked and heavy, this will satisfied your needs.

“Underground Church” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmNdKhwaFY



God Macabre – The Winterlong
Genre: Death
Year: 1993



Pulverizing, foul death metal is what God Macabre made themselves known for in the ‘90s. This is album is meant to crush the souls of all living beings, leaving only splattered remains. Retaining a mid-paced tempo throughout, there are more than enough moments of sledgehammer riffs and pounding double bass. The crunchy guitar tone and thick production only add to the heaviness. There is also a tinge of melody throughout the album, typically during the solos, which are incredible. Unfortunately, as with many other bands in the Swedish scene during this time period, God Macabre was fairly short lived, but they will not be forgotten in the minds of underground death metal fans.

“Spawn of Flesh” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STw37Yzk_N0



Gorement – The Ending Quest
Genre: Death
Year: 1994



Gorement was founded in 1989 and released a handful of demos and one full length, The Ending Quest. While their demos are incredible pieces of work, the album has a slight edge over them. The demos concentrate on pure, rotten death metal, while The Ending Quest takes that groundwork and builds upon it with some melodic leads and more focused songwriting. Memorable riffs saturate each song, topped off with guttural vocals and some genuinely haunting moments. Instruments aside, a key component to this album is the production, which brings out the heaviness in the riffs. The songs would not sound nearly as powerful if they had the stereotypical buzzsaw guitar tone, which many bands in their scene chose to use.

“My Ending Quest” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id7BMU4Nb2w
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:22 AM
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Grotesque – Incantation
Genre: Death / Black
Year: 1990



Out of all the Swedish death metal bands in the early ‘90s, Grotesque was likely the odd one out, as their brand incorporated a heap of elements from the rising black metal scene. The songs on this EP can go from a classic death metal riff to a tremolo picked black metal one in a flash. These transitions, although abrupt, do manage to flow together naturally. The drums follow the same pattern, sometimes going from a slow churning beat to a ruthless blasting section in only a second. The vocals typically maintain a blackened shriek, although they dip a tad lower at times. At the time this style was highly innovative and it’s disheartening to say that the band’s contrasting, abrasive output on this EP was the last thing they did together.

“Blood Runs from the Altar” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UckDQ047-8M



Inquisition – Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan
Genre: Black
Year: 2002



One of the most unique black metal bands to exist is Washington’s Inquisition. There is simply no other band with vocals resembling Dagon’s. Upon first listen, they may seem awkward and out of place, but if given a chance you will realize how perfectly they fit in, as unusual as they may be. This uncanny style transmits and almost supernatural vibe to the listener and entrances them deeper into the music. The songs are varied, with only a few focusing on blistering speed and the others remaining in a prolonged slower pace, winding through bizarre passages with hypnotic riffs and a couple of astounding solos. This is an album that will be rewarding to those who spend time attempting to comprehend it.

“Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItG2mRLcnjc



Katharsis – 666
Genre: Black
Year: 2000



Founded in Germany in 1994, Katharsis did not release a full length until approximately six years later. Sounding much like the second wave bands, they have forged a ravaging piece of material, often compared to Darkthrone’s masterpiece, Under a Funeral Moon. This iniquitous album is hateful and vicious, full of savage riffs, blasting drums, and heinous screams. To the untrained ear this could very well pass as a mid ‘90s release, with its rough production and primitive structure.

“Thy Horror” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj-IXgfrL9U



Koldbrann – Nekrotisk Inkvisition
Genre: Black
Year: 2003



Along with Beastcraft, Koldbrann was another addition to the so-called third wave of black metal. The lyrics are exclusively in Norwegian, which gives a nice feel to the album. They attempt to replicate the ‘90s sound, but they keep it fresh by changing up the formula a bit. The riffs tend to change and build upon each other throughout the songs, instead of centering around a couple of repeating riffs. Secondly, the drums are quite varied, with continually evolving beats and interesting use of the cymbals. There is only a sparse helping of blast beats to be found. Essentially, Koldbrann has kept the fundamental elements of their black metal while breathing new life into it.

“Korpus Sepsis” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYw0r4PCIw4



Merciless – The Awakening
Genre: Death / Thrash
Year: 1990



While so many bands in Sweden focused on creating a crunchy guitar tone and thick production, Merciless deviated in the opposite direction. Combining chaotic German thrash with early death metal, Merciless wrote an absolutely timeless record. Abrasive could be a word to describe it, but it’s just so much more than that. These are the type of riffs that melt the skin off your face and leave you on the floor bleeding profusely, yet strangely enthralled by what you have experienced. Unbelievably, there’s not a dull one to be found here. Each one builds upon the predecessor with seamless transitions leading into the following ones. The ripping vocals only amplify the intensity. They are more concentrated on the early death metal style, but are delivered at a rapid pace, much like those found on Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill. The drums are adept and never feel overly complicated, augmenting the music perfectly, which is ideal for an album like this, where the riffs are clearly the driving force. Lastly, production gives this album an absolutely tormenting sound. The instruments are powerful and the vocals sound menacing, while not sounding excessively clean. This is one of those very few albums I would dare to call flawless.

“Bestial Death” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5BNTnMcJFI



Morbid Saint – Spectrum of Death
Genre: Thrash / Death
Year: 1988



On the other side of the pond we have our own stellar death thrash band, who released this killer album. From the opening riff of “Lock up Your Children”, you can tell you’re in for a hell of a ride. Morbid Saint amps up the pace here, writing fleeting riffs supplemented with a shot of Methamphetamine. These furious riffs are accompanied by rigorous drumming and psychotic screams that could easily revive the dead from their underground confines. Two of the songs, “Assassin” and “Scars”, clock in at seven minutes long, and to some people this might concerning, but I assure you they are just as powerful as the rest of the songs on the album. They are still loaded with the explosive riffs and solos that make this album such a masterpiece.

“Lock up Your Children” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGx_lkJsCZI



Morgoth – The Eternal Fall
Genre: Death
Year: 1990



While the Florida death metal scene had already produced the first wave of bands and the Swedish scene was well on its way to producing the second, one German band was busy drawing the blueprints for their own work. By this time Morgoth had been around for a while and The Eternal Fall would be the second EP they had released. Arguably, their best songs are on this EP, but Resurrection Absurd is an extremely close rival. With weaving riffs and macabre screams, this small collection of songs is the quintessence of death metal. The release maintains a steady mid-pace throughout, which helps emphasize the gruesome aura it radiates so fervently. Each song is a classic reminder of the genre’s beginnings, and what it was all about: death in its most repulsive form.

“Burnt Identity” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zb0x0C2OT8



Mütiilation – Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
Genre: Black
Year: 1995



If you want the definition of a cult black metal band, look no further. Mütiilation is a one man band, with the exception of session drummers solely on this album. There is a plethora of bands like this out there, but many fall short of creating anything worth listening to; Mütiilation, however, stands out from the masses, writing perfectly constructed songs, complemented with a fitting production, which is thin and raw, just as you might expect from such a release. If anything, it gives it a dissonant and vile ambiance, a necessary component for the most diabolical mood. The screeching vocals ring in such an abhorrent noise, sounding like torturous screams from the underworld. The simplistic, repetitive riffs, endless blasting, and monotonous vocals bring about a strangely soothing sensation, producing an excellent record.

“Born under the Master’s Spell” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAxr4cht8DA



Mutilator – Immortal Force
Genre: Death / Thrash
Year: 1987



By the late ‘80s the Brazilian metal scene was flourishing, with many notable artists releasing their best material in the period of a few years. Mutilator was among those bands, putting forth their best effort to write abrasive metal. With an even mixture of thrash and death riffs, combined with harsh vocals, this record is a perfect representation of the transition era where death metal was gaining popularity. The primitive songwriting and quick shifts in tempo still manage to do great justice to this brief stage in the metal scene. While the band went on to release one more album in 1989, it did not quite stand up to this beast.

“Tormented Soul” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJwyhA7ztGs



Nifelheim – Nifelheim
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 1994



I have mentioned a couple other blackened thrash bands, but the most well known one is the Swedish masters, Nifelheim. Although the band members themselves look completely ridiculous, the music they’ve formulated here is exceptional. With their name being derived from the Norse mythology equivalent of hell, you could only guess that their sound is as heinous as you can imagine. Their primitive black metal mixed with thrashy riffs meshes together to form a purely evil record. The journey you endure with this album will have you contorting in pain and begging for mercy.

“Possessed by Evil” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deRjzHsD-pk
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Proclamation – Advent of the Black Omen
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 2006



Spain’s Proclamation is essentially the counterpart to Blasphemy, as it’s clear that a lot of their influences come directly from them. Naturally, Proclamation fits under the banner of war metal for those reasons, but despite sounding like a mere clone of their Canadian peers, they still do their part in creating an immensely vicious slab of bestial terror. The malicious vocals, unrelenting riffs, barbaric solos, and crude production all converge to form a revolting slice of primitive blackened death that will destroy your soul. Advent of the Black Omen is complete chaos, but it is strangely compelling at the same time.

“Hellbound Triumph” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A4IrIA4uzg



Purtenance - Member of Immortal Damnation
Genre: Death
Year: 1992



Hailing from Finland, Purtenance released some of filthiest death metal to come out of the region. Originally known as Purtenance Avulsion, they released one demo before shortening their name. Afterward they struck a record deal and released an EP and this full length. The unrefined production and guttural growls give this debut an undeniably putrid sound. Each song is loaded with slow, churning riffs matched with galloping double bass. The perfectly crafted plodding riffs are what really set this album apart from the others in the scene. They are all highly unique and equally memorable. Unfortunately the band split up in the same year this album was released, so it has become a relatively unknown gem.

“A Dark Cloud Arises” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaToUgnNs8k



Revenant – Prophecies of a Dying World
Genre: Death / Thrash
Year: 1991



While death metal was about to reach the peak of its popularity in the early ‘90s, record labels such as Roadrunner and Nuclear Blast took a major interest in it, signing a copious number of bands. One of the bands Nuclear Blast signed was Revenant, a group from New Jersey who played a blend of death and thrash. Despite having a substantial record deal, the band never attained a large audience, and eventually broke up in the mid ‘90s with only one album under their belts. However, that one album is a masterpiece, accentuating the best elements of the genres. The vocals are remarkable, utilizing a higher pitched growl that is far superior to the low gutturals that were becoming more prominent as death metal developed. The drumming features numerous intriguing fills and the patterns are well thought out and executed with precision, flowing together perfectly. The songs are generally in the seven minute range focusing on compelling instrumental passages with an abundance of twisted riffs and outstanding solos. The album adds up to nearly an hour in length, so it may be a bit much to take in all in one listen, but each second of it is exceptional.

“Ancestral Shadows” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJnQjVpaX9M



Revenge - Triumph.Genocide.Antichrist
Genre: Black
Year: 2003



One of the most abrasive and hateful sounding bands, Revenge, hails from Canada and plays a small niche of black metal designated as “war metal”. This small fragment of the genre has relatively few bands, but has produced commendable material. The vocals are at the forefront of the mix, fittingly so, as they are absolutely sadistic. There’s no one that can match the insanity of James Read’s vile screams. The instruments compliment the vocals nicely, as each song relentlessly fast with a profuse amount of rapid fire blasting and lightning fills. Revenge has unleashed pandemonium that will leave the battlefield as a barren wasteland of torched flesh and reeking entrails.

“Heathen Hammer” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTED4k8fS0



Sadistic Intent – Resurrection
Genre: Death
Year: 1994



In the midst of the Florida death metal movement, Sadistic Intent was busy creating their own pulverizing material on the opposite side of the country. Hailing from Los Angeles, they are one of the area’s first death metal bands, and they remain a powerful force to this day. Although they have never released a full length album they have received acclaim for their brand of primitive death metal, garnering them a strong cult following. Throughout the band’s early career they released a number of demos and a few EPs, one them being Resurrection. With pummeling riffs, perplexing solos, and possessed vocals, all the ingredients for soul wrenching death metal are present. The gritty production augments these elements nicely, making this small collection of songs completely astounding.

“Condemned in Misery” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN3e_5Gpzhs



Sarcófago – INRI
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 1987



Numerous extreme metal bands arose from the ’80s Brazilian scene, although aside from Sepultura, they generally stayed underground. One of these obscure bands was highly influential among the early black metal scene, writing a debut album that would echo across the continents. With fast, raw thrashing riffs enveloped in vicious screams and pounding drums Sarcófago made their name known. The production is nice and rough, giving it a truly rotten sound that only adds to the feel of the album. This unrefined and reckless brand of metal was unique at the time, inspiring countless other bands in their local scene and around the world.

“Black Vomit” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRVb4r3E_6o



Satanic Warmaster – Strength and Honour
Genre: Black
Year: 2001



When I was first exploring black metal Satanic Warmaster was one of the bands I came across while searching the web. I quickly found myself obsessed with the hypnotic riffs and chilling screams. I could feel the cold of the desolate forests deep within the Finnish heartland. This was the black metal I had craved and I couldn’t get enough of it. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf’s simplistic song structures manage to be perpetually compelling and full of mesmerizing riffs. Then there is the production, which despite being raw, is mixed perfectly and completely seduces the listener. This is pure, unadulterated black metal and to this day I believe it is one of the best albums in the genre.

“Wolves of Blood and Iron” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDDZstspff4



Teitanblood - Genocide Chants to Apolokian Dawn
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 2004



In the era of modern black metal there are still a number of bands keeping the old traditions alive. Spain’s Teitanblood does just that, providing us with merciless, unrefined recordings rooted in the depths of hell. Their unorthodox song structures with sporadic guitar solos make them unlike the other bands in their scene. The perverse, inhuman vocals and crude production do their job to emit an unholy feel that cannot be matched. This blasphemous creation is only a brief experience but it could not be more outstanding.

“Leviathan Division” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA-0FzQaF-w



Tsjuder – Desert Northern Hell
Genre: Black
Year: 2004



As the black metal scene has developed over the years, more and more bands have begun to change their style; some of these bands have done so successfully, while others failed miserably. Then there are the relatively few that do not stray from their path, instead refining their sound with each album. Tsjuder did just that, and by their third full length they had nearly achieved perfection. With a plethora of tremolo picking and relentless blast beats, Desert Northern Hell is the epitome of Norwegian black metal. Despite most of the album being ripping fast there is still a nice amount of variance, including a fair number of slower sections and longer songs. It’s safe to say that this is one of the strongest black metal releases in recent years.

“Ghoul” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxvzRB0Ajew



Von – Satanic Blood
Genre: Black
Year: 1992



As black metal was beginning to truly take form, one band would end up having a large influence on the future of the genre. Von, a relatively unknown band from San Francisco, released a grand total of two demos before breaking up in 1992. The second demo, however, would have a profound impact on the scene. While many will criticize it for its repetitive song structure, this style would become prominent in the works of Burzum and many other bands to this very day. Not only was the simplistic nature of the songs alluring, but the unrefined production was as well. These elements combined sum up what many groups would attempt to replicate in the coming years. This demo seems to evoke either a love or hate reaction from people, either praising it for its cult sound or condemning it for being monotonous, but either way there is no denying that Satanic Blood was that defining moment in the history of black metal.

“Satanic Blood” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et0e3NL49GE
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:22 AM
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larvtard larvtard is offline
and you can never quarantine the past
 
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I'm at the library now but I think I may just go back to my room to hear this stuff

And thanks for including links, treggers! Daimonos could learn a thing or two from you...
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:01 AM
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IrritatedTrout IrritatedTrout is offline
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I don't listen to this kind of stuff at all but I have to congratulate you on this list. This seems like it took a lot of work to put together. I did check out a few of those songs simply because the cover art was so awesome. None of it was my thing but oh well. Depravity in particular has an awesome cover.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:41 AM
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jhdeity jhdeity is offline
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Glad to see Morbid Saint getting another mention. Grossly underrated band
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:07 AM
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Epidemic Reign Epidemic Reign is offline
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Great list man. Lots of really hard to find shit in there.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:26 AM
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mankvill mankvill is offline
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Seriously one of the best threads this site has ever seen. I approve.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:09 PM
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larvtard larvtard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treghet View Post


Aura Noir – Black Thrash Attack
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 1996



Although Aura Noir has released four stellar albums throughout their career they remain a lesser known black metal band. Black Thrash Attack was their debut and as the title suggests, it is indeed a heavily thrash influenced black metal album. Out of the better known bands in Norway, Aura Noir was the only one to take this approach. The vocals are in the typical black metal style, however, the guitars focus almost entirely on catchy thrash riffs. Alongside the killer riffs, the drumming is another integral part of the album. Blast beats are mixed in with interesting patterns and fills that you might expect to hear on a thrash album. A rather interesting fact about this album is that the members take on multiple roles, with Apollyon and Aggressor alternating between instruments and vocal duties. They do this so well that you likely wouldn’t notice unless you were listening closely for differences. Aura Noir does a perfect job of combining thrash influences with their black metal roots, making a stellar final product.

“The Pest” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULA8lQ3jwes

I've heard these guys before and they're awesome, thanks for reminding me to download their stuff


Bestial Mockery – Christcrushing Hammerchainsaw
Genre: Black / Thrash
Year: 2002



Despite releasing their first demo in 1996, Bestial Mockery did not have the opportunity to release a full length until 2002. This debut infuses an abundance of thrash riffs and spontaneous solos with a classic black metal sound, making it more refreshing than the usual black metal that had been well played out by this time. That being said, it does utilize the typical guitar tone and vocals popularized by the Norwegian scene. Although the album only lasts for twenty five minutes, it will grip your throat and batter you until you are lifeless. It’s an unrelenting assault on the senses. Bestial Mockery would go on to release three more remarkable full lengths, surely leaving their mark in the scene before they broke up in 2009.

“Suicide Blasphemy” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVnwii2NbAA

I've also heard these guys before, great stuff, thanks. I'll probably download some of their shit now, too.

Black Witchery – Upheaval of Satanic Might
Genre: Black
Year: 2005



After a demonic intro, this album starts an endlessly hellish storm of pure black metal. Although it was released in 2005, the production sounds more like the ‘90s, perfecting the atmosphere. The songs on this album are generally short, with most of them around two and a half minutes, which works well considering how relentlessly fast they are. There is an ample amount of well crafted riffs throughout the album, so each song retains its own identity instead of the whole album flowing together as one piece. With speed that will make your head spin and bone crushing guitars, this album will satisfy any black metal fan, old or new.

“Scorned and Crucified” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyLOQg6F9So

strangely enough the first black metal band I got into... This is fucking great stuff, I just wish the production wasn't so goddamned terrible.


Blasphemophagher – Nuclear Empire of Apocalypse
Genre: Black / Death
Year: 2008



Blasphemophagher is another newer addition to the infernal underground scene, having formed not long after the turn of the century. Like Black Witchery, they have done nothing but prove themselves over the years. Their debut album arrived to the world in 2008 and it is a slab of malicious black death to stay the least. The album is quite varied for its style, with blazing fast sections that will rip your limbs apart and then slower sections with riffs that will have you reminiscing Slayer’s early work. The blasting insanity melds together well with the thrashing outbreaks and makes this release much more unique than others in the genre.

“Devastating Radioactive Torments” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id8hYcQ1tY4

The last time I listened to these guys, I didn't like what I heard, but this has changed my mind
hi
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